How to Identify Signs of Opiate Abuse in a Loved One

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Has a loved one started to act erratically, or just… differently? Has their behavior changed so much so that you believe it could be a substance abuse problem? Is it possible its opiate abuse?

The signs of opiate abuse in a loved one are sometimes hard to spot. It’s easy to deny the truth to yourself and others. Sometimes the changes in an addicted person are as dramatic as not bathing, changing groups of friends, and getting into legal trouble. Other times they are more subtle and easier for the victim of addiction to explain away, like avoiding loved ones, missing important appointments, and changes in eating habits.

Here are common signs of opioid use and abuse and when to seek help from an opioid addiction clinic

Here are some things that you can be on the lookout for in your loved ones when, and if, you are worried they might be addicted to opioids. If they are addicted your loved one might need to go to an opioid addiction clinic and go through detox for opiate addiction. Detox from opioids can be dangerous without the supervision of proper medical staff.

Observable, personal, signs of opioid abuse:

Some possibly visual indicators of opioid addiction are:

•           Fatigue

Do they just not get enough rest or is it something else? Insomnia is also an indication of opioid abuse (see below).

•           Tremors/shaking

Does your loved one exhibit signs of uncontrollable muscle movements?

•           Sweating

This can be in conjunction with or separate from the act of wearing cold weather clothes in warmer temperatures, like long sleeve shirts or jackets, to hide puncture marks and bruises from needles. Just because they are sweating, doesn’t mean they are hot. Being cold is another sign of opioid addiction (see below).

•           Diarrhea

Diarrhea is another common indicator of opioid addiction.

•           Vomiting

Almost everyone gets ill every once in a while, but is it in conjunction with other listed symptoms?

Sometimes opiates come into people’s lives through reasonable means. They are prescribed for pain from procedures and conditions like dental work, cancer, and as part of post-surgical care. Opioid addiction starts to form when these drugs are misused. A famous often abused opioid is oxycodone. Problems with pharmaceutical grade drugs like oxycodone come when the drug is not being taken as directed by the prescribing doctor. Other times they are obviously street drugs like fentanyl and heroin, although prescription drugs like oxycodone are often available on the street.

Behavioral symptoms

Some of the less overt or more easily explained away indicators might be:

•           Insomnia

Do they just have a lot on their mind or is it possibly drug related? Has your loved one been a chronic insomniac in the past or is this a more recent development?

•           Pain

Does your loved one physically or verbally express indicators of physical pain?

•           Depression

Is there a lot on their mind or is it something more? Depression and other mental illness often occur with addiction. People with mental illness are prone to addiction.

•           Nausea

Everyone gets sick but is this related to a larger issue?

•           Feeling cold

Are they wearing long sleeves or other cold weather clothes in warmer conditions like the middle of summer?

Emergency action and prevalence of opioid addiction

The addictiveness of opioids has helped bring the drug problem to national attention. If your loved one suffers from opioid abuse they are not alone. You are not alone. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that over 2 million Americans suffer from opioid addiction. They also found that on average 90 Americans die from overdose every day. This is shocking but you can take some steps and learn some things, like CPR to help yourself be prepared in case of an immediate crisis. Overdose.

•           Call 9-1-1

•           If you have Narcan use it as instructed

•           A person who is awake should be kept awake

•           Be prepared to perform CPR

•           Stay with the person

Narcan is a highly effective nasal spray that helps reverse the overdose. Many emergency responders carry Narcan (or naloxone). In some places, Narcan is available over the counter so that you can get it and keep it with you. Pharmacists and your doctor will know your local laws and where and how to procure Narcan.


Opioid addiction clinics are often a good choice for people looking to detox from opioids and recover from their opioid addiction. Some specialized opioid addiction clinics have both residential treatment and intensive outpatient treatment programs. Detox from opiates when escaping addiction can be difficult but these specialized clinics, like Dreamlife Recovery, offer hope.

Addiction is complex and hard to fight disease, but we are here for you. At our center, we offer not only hope and understanding but a way back to a normal healthy life. At our opioid addiction rehabilitation clinic, we offer detox from opioids to victims of opioid addiction, medication-assisted therapy, traditional therapy, family therapy, equine therapy, and much more. Attempts at detoxification from opioids without the supervision of trained medical staff can be extremely dangerous.

Dreamlife Recovery Program

At Dreamlife Recovery, we specialize as an opioid addiction clinic. We offer plenty of information for all of our clients to help understand our process of treatment. You can look over our full process of the medication side of the treatment plan can here.

We encourage core things like honesty during therapy, physical activity, consumption of healthy foods instead of junk food, and helping you create a goal list and a sobriety plan. Further information on the non-medication side of our treatment plan can be found here.

Aftercare is paramount as well and we nurture relationships so that you do not become just one more data point in a national statistic.

In some cases, you do not have to worry about covering the full cost of rehabilitation. At DreamLife Recovery, we accept some insurance providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, AmeriHealth, UnitedHealthcare, and Cigna. Please look here to get more information about the coverage accepted at DreamLife Recovery.

Don’t Suffer with Addiction any Longer! Contact Dreamlife Recovery Today!

Addiction care centers on the individual and his or her needs. It takes a multi-pronged approach, addressing the person’s physical and mental state, as well as getting to the root cause of the drug addiction.

If you or a loved one are suffering from opiate addiction, click here or call us at (844) 402-3592. We can help.